Archive - Jan 2010 - Editorial
All it takes to get America ginned up about terrorism and air travel security is to have another attempt to down a jetliner hit the press. Detroit has done just that. Suggestions for solutions to this problem cover the range from idiotic to inspired. One genius on CNN suggested we ban anyone with an Arabic name from flying at all. One rather thoughtful expert suggested that there are a number of devices available that are capable of sniffing out explosive compounds.
At Tuesday’s special UD-3 school board meeting, board members got an unexpected vote of no confidence.
The shoe that fits
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., introduced legislation that would place a heavy tax on bonuses paid by national banking firms that accepted federal bail out money. The proceeds from the tax would finance a small-business lending program.
It is fitting legislation.
I (vaguely) recall my first swimming lesson amounting to something like this: My instructor, probably an overzealous young punk who must’ve studied under Genghis Khan, picked me up and chucked me into the community swimming pool. It was the lunkhead’s way of cutting to the chase, I suppose, reasoning in a Neanderthal kind of way that if the little kid instinctively moved his arms and legs in a desperate act of self-preservation, he was teachable and could earn his water wings.
There are worse things a person could spontaneously shout while standing in line at the grocery store. As it was, my outburst caused the checkout clerk to drop a dozen eggs and a person in the next line to look around and say, “Where?”
But it was a moment of triumph for me, a welcome relief after three long days of frustration.
It all started on a family road trip to Massachusetts, when we passed a driver who looked kind of like Bruce Willis.
Pity the poor members of local school boards who have to put a budget before voters this March.
At least our schools’ administrators get paid to sort through the tangled mess that is Vermont school funding. But school board members go through this annual exercise in masochism out of their truly honorable sense of civic duty and doing what is right for our children.
In his final State of the State address, Gov. Jim Douglas emphasized three familiar themes: promote job growth, cut taxes and reduce school spending. He’s been saying much the same thing for the previous few years to little success — a fact that he has too willingly blamed on his opponents.
In retrospect, he might have wondered if a more progressive agenda could have yielded better results.
Consider the state’s current plight and the possibility of a different approach.
Politics is nothing more than understanding ambition and the conditions that produce it, and there is a surfeit of both as the Vermont Legislature begins its work.
It will be a session unlike any other. Legislators will be faced with a $150 million hole in the budget that needs to be plugged. It has an unemployment trust fund that is about to run bone dry. And it is dealing with a state economy that is anemic, at best.
The general conclusion is that we must learn how to do more with less, or, as the governor suggests, to do less with less.